For obvious reasons the idea never caught on throughout the 20th century to construct home-based gasoline refineries to supply one's car – even if an oil well was nearby.

Today however, the world is contemplating a quite different paradigm, and there is a growing move afoot to far more practically generate one’s own electricity.

One New York-based company catering to plug-in vehicle drivers wishing to be fully independent is Urban Green Energy (UGE), which is working to create interest in its miniature vertical wind turbine combined with EV charging station.


Parking lot mounted commercial application.

The company’s Sanya Skypump is one of several wind turbines it offers to municipal and commercial customers, but the Skypump is one that utilizes a GE developed WattStation rapid EV charger to present an all-in-one system aimed even at individual PHEV/EV owners.

The Skypump "offers a net-zero energy solution for EV drivers around the globe," according to an email by UGE’s David Droz at Urban Green Energy to Fast Company.

Its technical advantage is that it captures wind at lower heights – around 42 feet high – and at lower wind speeds from all directions.

Assuming local zoning ordinances don’t prevent it, and NIMBY's don't ostracize you, in areas with sufficient wind , the Skypump will drive a four-kilowatt generator at wind speeds as low as 7 mph. Peak output caps at wind speeds above 26 mph.

Residential customers can take advantage of the WattStation’s wall mounted data readout in a merged charger/wind turbine unit intended to take plug-in cars off the grid.


Rendering of the system in operation.

"Combining the [two] was simply a matter of working together to create a functional merger of the two electronic systems while maintaining the compact form," wrote Droz.

UGE is starting with three pilot projects next year in Barcelona, Beijing and New York City.

The company says in the past 20 years the cost of wind energy has come down 80 percent, but it is still projecting a $29,995 price tag before incentives on this unit.


The business end of the system.

Subsidies on the federal and possible state and local level would be available, and the company would be able to discuss whether this is financially feasible, or otherwise hits enough of your personal hot buttons to make you willing to pull the trigger.

Whether or not one considers this is a good investment, UGE is anticipating it has a business model aimed at a future market in which one study forecasts EVs will account for 64 percent of all light vehicles sold by 2030.

Investing at some point in one's own power supply may prove to be a wise move for a number of reasons.


Included in these is that wind and solar energy, as you know, are clean and sustainable. This fact is not lost on General Motors – which has been installing solar arrays at many of its facilities – or the Ford Motor Company.

Recently Ford announced it had partnered with SunPower, a solar energy company, to offer its plug-in buyers a solar-powered EV charging station.

That system is estimated to cost $10,000 or so after federal subsidies, is scheduled to be available by the time the Focus Electric is launched, and offers enough power to let one travel 1,000 miles per month.

More information on UGE’s wind products can be found on its Web site .

Fast Company